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How much does a pond cost to install?

That depends on the size, construction type (liner, concrete, or both), filter equipment, and access to your site. The cost to build a pond can range from $1,000 for a small residential pond to $100,000 for a large pond in a commercial setting. Pumps & filtration systems add expense, but we think that is not a place to try to save money. A small pond that works well is much better than a large green mess. Please contact us to schedule a free estimate.

What is the difference between a liner pond and a concrete pond?

Liner ponds are less expensive to install, but are much more delicate. They are harder to clean and maintain than concrete ponds, which is one reason why we prefer concrete ponds. Liner ponds are much more likely to be punctured or torn during normal maintenance. One advantage to a liner pond is that they won’t crack when it freezes, however that is not much of an issue in San Diego. Liner ponds are less likely to be penetrated by roots, but liners need to be protected from the sun. The best system is to install concrete over a PVC liner as shown in our construction sequence.

What type of filter should I use?

All ponds and fountains should have some type of mechanical filtration. Smaller fountains can use cartridge filters which have a removable cartridge made of material which the water flows through, catching debris. The internal cartridge can be removed and rinsed during maintenance, and replaced when necessary, every few years. Larger fountains should use a sand filter. A sand filter is simply a large chamber filled with silica sand. The water flows through the sand, which is a very effective at removing tiny particles of debris. During maintenance, the sand filter is “backwashed” through a special valve which flushes the acquired debris down the drain. Ponds require biological filtration which can be accomplished with the sand filter if it is modified. We also install in-pond bio-filters, gravity type barrel filters and ultraviolet sterilizers.

Should I have an ultraviolet sterilizer?

Ultraviolet sterilizers pick up where mechanical filters leave off. Water flows through a chamber containing an ultraviolet bulb. This light destroys algae cells and other micro-organisms, effectively keeping the water clear and the fish healthy. UV sterilizers are very beneficial for ponds, and we highly recommend them. UV sterilizers need to be sized for volume and flow rate.Contact us for help.

Should I have rocks or gravel in the bottom of my pond?

We discourage small rocks or gravel in concrete ponds. Liner ponds should have larger 1”-2” cobble covering the liner. Small rocks and gravel trap dirt and debris, making the pond much harder to clean and maintain. Harmful bacteria can also form which breed disease and deplete the oxygen levels in the water.

Should I use lights in my pond?

Lights in a natural pond will add heat which will make algae grow, and make the water appear green, even in the winter. We usually advise against lighting in natural ponds. Low voltage exterior lighting is much more effective. Underwater lights can be used in chlorinated systems. We can help design and install a customized lighting system for your water feature.Contact us for a free estimate.

How often should I have my pond cleaned?

There are many variables that affect how often your pond should be cleaned, such as the amount of fish and plants that live in the pond and how much debris gets into the pond. The weather can also be a factor. Algae thrives in warm weather which can become a problem during the summer. Some of our clients schedule our maintenance service once per month in the cooler months, and every other week in the warmer months. The frequency is entirely up to you, depending on how you like your pond to look. Please see our maintenance rates for an idea of what it would cost.

How much does maintenance cost?

We provide weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly maintenance at a reasonable price. We also offer one-time clean-outs. We use specialized equipment to achieve more professional results than small, store-bought cleaning equipment. Please see our maintenance rates or contact us to schedule a free estimate.

Should I ask for references?

You should always ask for references when hiring a contractor. We can provide a list of references from clients, and locations of projects in your area that you can visit so that you can get a feel for the level of craftsmanship that we provide. See our customer list.

Should I hire a licensed contractor?

You should make sure that any contractor that you hire is licensed and bonded. California Aquatics holds license no. 526940, with endorsements C-27 (Landscape Contractor), and B (General Contractor). We also carry one million dollar general liability insurance for your protection. Since we are contracted for work with large corporations and institutions including Universities, we always take care to have ample insurance coverage.

How long have you been in business?

We started April 1, 1984, so over 32 years in 2016.

Who have you worked for?

See below for a list of some of our clients.




The California Aquatics team continues to amaze me. They helped us for years on our previous home and have just finished their magic on our new house.

Rhonda La Jolla, CA

I’ve referred Jim to countless friends and colleagues and will continue to because they are the best at what they do.

SeanScripps Ranch, CA

I never thought owning a home with a lake would be so easy, but with California Aquatics help, it’s a breeze. We have their delightful team come out and maintain it bi-weekly, making it very easy for us.

MaryRancho Sante Fe, CA

We trust California Aquatics to install and maintain all of our fountains across San Diego. They have been contracted with our company for nearly 12 years and we would never think about switching.

TerrieSan Diego County, CA

Impressed? Contact us today to start on your new project!